Asian Women’s Championship kicks off Friday in Thailand
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, September 12, 2013 - All is set for Nakhon Ratchasima to host the 17th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship from September 13 to 21, with 16 teams vying for top honours and berths to compete in this year’s FIVB World Grand Champions Cup and the 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix.
The 17th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship will serve as the qualification tournament for three major events. The eventual winners will represent Asia in the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in November in Japan, while the top two teams (aside from China and Japan who qualify automatically) will make the cut for the 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix. The eight best-ranked sides will also receive the green light to take part in next year’s AVC Cup for Women.
Hosts Thailand, Australia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia are in Pool A, while defending 12-time champions and world No.5 China, Iran, the Philippines and an independent team from India are in Pool B. Pool C comprises Hong Kong, Vietnam, world No.3 Japan and Indonesia, while South Korea, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei and Myanmar are in Pool D.
The pool round-robin preliminaries kick-off on September 13 at the Chatchai Hall, which serves as the main competition venue, and the MCC Hall inside The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima.
At the end of the three-day preliminaries, only the top two teams from each pool will advance to round composed of the final eight teams. The lower-ranked sides will compete for 9-16 place in the tournament.
To make sure the prestigious tournament is well-prepared ahead of the kickoff on Friday, a joint meeting took place between the local organisers and the Control Committee led by the FIVB and AVC Life Honorary President, Mr Jizhong Wei on Wednesday morning at the Ratchaphruek Hotel.
At the meeting, Mr Wei, who is in Thailand to also inspect the venues in Phuket for next year’s Asian Beach Games, expressed his gratitude at being designated Control Committee President and stressed that all participating teams must compete in a fair competition.
“It’s my great honour to work with my old friends. After working with local organisers and AVC delegates for years, I’m convinced there will be no problem organising this top-flight competition.
“If any unexpected problem occurs during the competition, we will solve the problem in an atmosphere of friendly discussion. However, we, as the organisers, have to do our best to avoid any referee mistakes. Referees must stay neutral. We should not let the referee mistakes hurt the teams. Therefore, the referees’ transparent decision should be the top priority we keep in mind,” said Mr Wei.
After the joint meeting, the Control Committee members travelled together for the hotel inspection and venue facilities. They found that the team hotels and venue facilities are in good condition and ready to host the continent’s biggest competition.
The Chatchai Hall is a world-class standard gymnasium, which served as the venue for the FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship in July, while the MCC Hall was used for the Asian Women’s Juniors Championship, World Grand Prix and Asian Women’s Club Championship for several times.
Meanwhile, all 16 teams have already arrived in Nakhon Ratchasima and started training upon their arrival.
In a brief interview after the preliminary inquiry, China’s team manager Hu Jin said, “We are in good condition. We set our initial target to win a berth to contest the World Grand Champions’ Cup. In the recent World Grand Prix, we played Japan in exhausting five sets. If we happen to take them on again in this Asian Championship, it’s hard to say if the same situation will occur. I don’t want to say that we will beat them, but I prefer to say that my team is in good condition.”
Joo Dongwook, team manager of South Korea, said, “We are well-prepared for this Asian Championship. We set our target of advancing to the final round. We play Myanmar in our first match and I don’t think my team will have any problem beating our rivals. My players have no injury, while our key player Kim Yeon-Koung is on top form. Whether she will be in the starting line-up in the first match against Myanmar depends upon the head coach’s decision.”
Kazakhstan’s head coach Gutor Oleksandr said, “We prepared well for this tournament. I think every team stands an equal chance of winning. It depends on the preparation we make and the form we play on the competition days.”
Pool A: Thailand, Australia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia
11:00: Australia v Mongolia
the Philippines v Independent Team from India
11:00: Kazakhstan v Mongolia
11:00: Iran v
Korea v Chinese Taipei
Lanka v Myanmar